Frazier, 33, hit .251/.329/.443 with 21 homers in 133 games with the Mets last season. He could be a short-term bridge at the hot corner until top third base prospects Josh Jung and Sherten Apostel reach the big leagues. Frazier can also provide depth at first base, if necessary, and also add a right-handed bat to a lineup that currently leans left-handed and is short on righty power.

Yankees still open to trading Happ

If nothing else, the 37-year-old Happ is a steady source of innings, having thrown at least 160 innings in four of the last five years. He allowed 34 home runs in 2019 and there’s reason to believe he can be an above-average contributor with an un-juiced ball. New York can plug Jordan Montgomery in as its No. 5 starter behind Cole, Luis Severino, James Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka.
Jackson, 36, allowed 81 runs in 67 2/3 innings in 2019 and also spent time in Triple-A. He’s signed a minor league contract each of the last three offseasons and will undoubtedly have to do the same again this winter. The safe bet is always on a journeyman like Jackson landing with a rebuilding team that is looking for someone to eat innings and spare young arms.

Mets shopping Lowrie, Smith in package deal

The Nationals have signed infielder Starlin Castro to a two-year, million contract. Washington plans to play him at second base and they continue to pursue free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson. The Nationals lost Anthony Rendon to free agency and their 2020 payroll is currently well below the 8 million luxury tax threshold. They have enough room to pay Donaldson and perhaps add a few more role players as well.
The Mets are shopping infielder Jed Lowrie and first baseman Dominic Smith in a package deal, reports Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. Lowrie, who was limited to seven at-bats by injury in 2019, has million remaining on his contract. Smith is capital B-Blocked by Pete Alonso at first base. New York is hoping to convince a team to take on Lowrie’s salary to get Smith’s promising bat.

Rangers talking to Frazier

Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson plans to pitch in 2020, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. He has suited up for an MLB record 14 teams in his 17-year career, including the Blue Jays and Tigers in 2019. Despite banking over million in his career to date, it seems Jackson is not ready to hang up his spikes yet. He’s going to make them rip the jersey off him.
The holiday lull is officially over. Late Thursday night the Angels signed catcher Jason Castro and the Nationals inked setup man Will Harris. Fourteen of our top 50 free agents remain unsigned, including four of the top 15. There are also more than enough trade candidates to go around, especially relievers. Here are Friday’s hot stove rumors. Make sure you check back throughout the day for updates.

Jackson plans to pitch in 2020

Last month we looked at 10 teams that could capitalize on a Lowrie/Smith package deal, several of which have since made moves to upgrade their infield. The Rangers have uncertainty at the two corner infield positions and stand out as a candidate to plug Lowrie in at third base in 2020 and install Smith as their first baseman of the future. It’s unclear whether the two sides have talked.
The Giants have signed veteran righty Tyson Ross to a minor league contract, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The deal is worth .75 million at the MLB level with another .75 million available in incentives. Ross and Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi know each other from their time together with the Athletics.

Giants sign Ross

Even after Domingo German was suspended 81 games under MLB’s domestic violence policy, the Yankees remain open to trading left-hander J.A. Happ, reports the New York Post‘s Ken Davidoff. Happ has been on the trade block all offseason, even before the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole, and clearing even just part his million salary would ease the club’s luxury tax burden in 2020.
Cuban star Oscar Colas has defected from Cuba and will look to sign an MLB contract. The 21-year-old hit .300/.353/.511 with 12 home runs in 73 games with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan last season. Colas is a power hitting first baseman/outfielder who is also working to become a two-way player. He’s reportedly touched 95 mph from the left side. It will be weeks, maybe even months, before MLB clears Colas to sign, though he is expected to create a bidding war once given the thumbs up. 

Nationals sign Castro

Ross, 32, made seven mostly ineffective starts with the Tigers last season before going down with a nerve issue in his elbow. After dealing with numerous arm injuries from 2016-17, Ross had a fine bounceback season with the Padres and Cardinals in 2018, throwing 149 2/3 innings with a 4.15 ERA. If there’s anything left in the tank, San Francisco could use him as a starter or reliever.

Cuban star Colas defects

The Rangers are in touch with free agent third baseman Todd Frazier, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Texas currently has Nick Solak penciled in at the hot corner, though his arm may be short for the position. The Rangers pursued Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson, and Anthony Rendon at various points earlier this winter. Frazier represents a cheaper stopgap option.